Chicago – Part Two

There are a lot of things to do at the Museum of Science and Industry, which was conveniently located in Ellen’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It was definitely a great way to spend an afternoon on a windy Saturday. The replica of the city of the Chicago complete with miniature train models transporting goods to Seattle seemed like a great place to start. We both were fascinated with the interactive science exhibits and demonstrations including a lecture on the vortex and electricity as well as a lesson on deciphering fingerprinting. We especially enjoyed the hands-on exhibits about static electricity and air currents, the latter which involved trying to balance balls over an air stream of changing direction and velocity. After several hours there, however, we were ready to walk back to get ready for our Thai dinner with Ellen and her friends.

On Sunday morning, Ellen drove us downtown Chicago after making sure that we had had a good view of the Univeristy of Chicago. We drove along the Miracle Mile graced by several Chicago landmarks including the iconic Watertower, high end shopping, and the Wrigley building. Julian and I enjoyed some hot Starbucks refreshments before meeting seven of our cousins at Hub 51 on Hubbard Street. It was a wonderful reunion filled with good conversation and delicious food and we expressed our gratitude to cousin Sue for organizing the event.

After brunch, we rode in a cab with our cousin Teri and daughter Mary to her beautiful apartment overlooking downtown Chicago. From there, my childhood friend Carrie Wren and her two daughters picked us up and brought us to Millennium Park. Carrie showed me Chicago’s new iconic landmark, a sculpture in the middle of the park affectionately called “The Bean”. (I joked that I needed to perform there as it reminded me of the
Performing Arts center in Albany called the Egg). As it was built of reflective material, many people were taking advantage of the unique photo opportunities that this structure  posed. The five of us sauntered down to Lake Michigan where we witnessed the very unusual site of large ice burgs being enveloped by large ocean-like waves. We walked along the shore for a while until the gusty gales of wind, blowing in our faces at some one hundred miles per hour, were more than we could take. Carrie dropped us back at Ellen’s apartment where Julian and I spent a quiet evening resting and catching up on homework.

On Monday morning, the yellow cab brought us back to Midway airport where we navigated our way through lunch lines and finally on board our Southwest Airline plane back home to Albany. All of the flight attendants were wearing green in order to commemorate Saint Patrick’s Day. It was the end of a wonderful trip!